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Rising Scholars
Prison Education Program


In cooperation with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Antelope Valley College (AVC) offers a Communications Studies and History Associate Degrees-to-Transfer through face-to-face instruction at California at the California State Prison Los Angeles County (LAC) on Yards A, B & C in Lancaster, CA.

Students at LAC also have an opportunity to continue their education and earn a bachelor's degree in Communications through California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), which is also offering face-to-face instruction in the prison. For more information on the way in which students at LAC can qualify for application to the CSULA BA program, please see this .pdf flyer.



In Spring 2016, AVC was one of four community colleges around the state to be awarded a grant to start a program in a Level III/IV security facility after the passing of 2014 Senate Bill 1391. Under the new legislation, community colleges could receive full funding to bring certificate and degree programs to incarcerated students. The bill expanded access to community college courses leading to certificates and degrees with an aim to enhance workforce skills or aid transfer to four-year university programs. The bill called for collaboration between the CDCR and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) for the purpose of entering into an agreement to expand face-to-face prison instruction. 

Proposition 57, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, allowed for incarcerated persons who demonstrate good behavior and participate in educational programs to earn Milestone Completion and Educational Merit credits that can lead to early consideration for parole.  Research from the RAND corporation shows that incarcerated people "who participated in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower odds of recidivating than inmates who did not, thus indicating that correctional education is an effective strategy for reducing recidivism" (Davis 2014).  Higher education credentials and degrees reap significant economic benefits for returning individuals and their communities. 


For more information about AVC's Rising Scholars PEP, contact Nate Dillon, Dean of Social & Behavioral Sciences at